London is the capital of England and of the United Kingdom , one of the most densely populated and popular cities in Europe and the world, home to over 13 million people. This beautiful, monumental city was founded by the Romans and was originally called Londinium. Read this article to pay attention to the main attractions of this London. (the first part of the article )
Historical architectural monument in the style of "Gothic", founded in 1065. The western facade of the Benedictine abbey is decorated with sculptures of 10 martyrs of the last century. For many centuries, Westminster Abbey was the traditional place of coronation of the Norman rulers and thanks to generous donations to the community of monks from the 12th century gradually strengthened its influence on the official authority. The standard of beauty and style of the Gothic Renaissance is the two western towers of the abbey, known throughout the world. Until the 19th century, Westminster Abbey was called one of the three most important scientific centers of England afterCambridge and Oxford .
London National Gallery (The National Gallery, London) and Trafalgar Square (Trafalgar Square)
The intersection of the main streets of Westminster is united by Trafalgar Square, often called the "heart of England". The middle of the square is decorated with Nelson's 44-meter column, and around it there are embassies, the Admiralty Arch and the world-famous museum of painting - the London National Gallery. From the base of the gallery in 1824 the canvases were placed in the order of their writing, and at the moment the number of masterpieces of painting exceeds 2 thousand. The National Gallery is particularly proud of the creations of Raphael, Rubens, Van Dyck, Vincent van Gogh, Rembrandt and Titian. The collection represents all directions of Western European painting of the 13th - 20th centuries. During the war, air bombs came into the building with pictures several times, but not a single artwork was damaged.
Museum of Modern Art: Tate Modern - Art Galery
London Tate Modern, although officially called the "modern museum", but contains the brilliant creations of masters since 1900. The museum, located on the south bank of the Thames, is visited annually by more than 5 million fans of painting. Since the opening of the Turbine Hall, in which the generators of the closed power plant were previously located, about 30 million visitors saw its exposition. This is a special project of the museum, in which modern authors can present unusual creations. A great opportunity to see the whole of London as in the palm of your hand will be a visit to the cafe-bar on the 7th floor. From the observation deck you can see the St. Paul's Cathedral, the Thames and the central part of the city. Entrance to the Tate Modern is not paid. The museum has several permanent free exhibits, but some exhibitions of outstanding artists require payment.
British Museum (the British Museum)
1753 became the year of unification in London of three valuable literary and historical collections and the creation of the British Museum. Repeated relocations and expansion of depositories led to the allocation of separate parts of numismatic values, the Museum of Natural History, the Department of Ancient Oriental art samples and, in fact, the British Library. The most valuable masterpieces of the collection are the antiquities of Egypt, Greece, Mesopotamia and Ancient Rome. The library of the museum rightfully bears the title of one of the richest in the world, numbering more than 150 million printed publications in different languages. In the library's treasury is the only hand-written record of the epic "Beowulf", the first editions of the "Gutenberg Bible" and the personal records of Da Vinci.
The Museum of Design (Design Museum)
"Someday some other museums will show these exhibits"
On the picturesque bank of the Thames in 1989, one of the best museums in the world in the field of fashion, architecture and graphics - Design Museum. This is one of the few London art depositories that provides a paid entrance for admirers of the beautiful. About 200 thousand people annually visit the museum building in the Art Nouveau style, evaluating the exhibition of design shoes, the development of video games, the history of clothing in different decades and a collection of graphic works. The museum regularly conducts lectures by famous designers and fashion designers, there is an "educational department" for schoolchildren and students of design schools. In a local cafe, you can have a leisurely talk about the world of fashion or admire the view of the Tower Bridge.
Museum of Natural History (National History Museum)
London's world-famous Museum of Natural History includes several collections and invites to free tours of lovers of botany, zoology, mineralogy and researchers of antiquities. The storehouse of the museum includes up to 6 million samples of the plant world, 55 million representatives of animal fauna and up to 500,000 minerals. The central hall of the museum represents a huge collection of skeletons of dinosaurs, here you can see the bones of a diplodocus in full size or a movable specimen of a tyrannosaurus. The mammal hall is decorated with a real-size whale model and the skeletons of many marine animals. For small visitors, the museum provides up to 10 popular scientific excursions and programs ("star animals", "dinosaurs", "create a volcano", "draw nature") to activate the research interest of kids.
Museum of Science, London (Science Museum)
The most interesting and educational museum in London is the Science Museum, in which all the exhibits are of practical importance. The central hall leads to many galleries dedicated to the inventions of human genius - from ancient Egyptian to modern technical novelties. In the hall hours, visitors not only can learn how the Roman clock worked, but also see the mechanisms of work of the current models. The phone room will allow you to study the devices of different years and even personally "call". On the top floor, you can compare several aircraft and find out how a person defeated the power of attraction. Not all presented exhibitions are of a permanent nature, so even with repeated visits to the Museum of Science, many incredible and unexpected discoveries can be made.
The Victoria and Albert Museum: V & amp; A
In 1852 in London was laid the foundation of the Museum of Decorative and Applied Art and Design. At the opening of a small gallery called the Museum of Products, but thanks to Queen Victoria and her husband, the storehouses quickly filled with unique examples of decorative art, and now Victoria and Albert Museum is among the top 20 museum treasuries in the world. In the year of his exhibition visit up to 3 million people. In the halls are presented not only products of decorative art, but also theatrical exhibits, sculptures, paintings, samples of fabrics from different eras. The museum was created to raise the level of education of the broad masses and was to promote the emergence of new ideas among British fashion designers. From these lofty goals the museum has not refused and nowadays invites to numerous exhibitions completely free of charge.
Museum of Childhood in London (Museum of Childhood)
The process of separation of the Museum of Childhood from the larger London Museum of Victoria and Albert began in 1922, when the funds of the children's exhibition were significantly enlarged and the new curator of the museum decided to separate it into a separate building. Annually about 30 thousand small spectators can get acquainted with the children's artifacts, covering the period from the 17th century to the present day. The Museum of Childhood presents decorative and real furniture for toddlers, toys and games, designer kits, doll houses and their inhabitants, clothes for little ones, from swaddling sets to funky dresses for boys that were used before the 1920s. The museum pays much attention to painting exhibitions for schoolchildren, placing pictures below the usual level for the convenience of "low visitors".
The Madame Tussauds Museum
The idea of creating the London Wax Museum was realized by the French sculptor Maria Tussauds, and now the museum's branches are located in 14 cities around the world. In 1777, Maria created her first wax figure, depicting Voltaire, and in 1835 she opened in London a permanent exhibition of her collection. Significant interest of the public was attracted by the Cabinet of Horrors, consisting of the figures of the participants of the French Revolution, and a collection of wax figures of celebrities - philosophers, politicians, military men. Since 1984, the Madame Tussauds Museum is located on Marylebone Road, it is visited annually by more than 2.6 million people, who dream of looking closer to famous personalities and making unusual photographs.
Museum of Sherlock Holmes Museum (The Sherlock Holmes Museum)
By the time of writing the stories and stories of A. Conan Doyle, the address on which the genius detective lived, did not exist. But over time Baker Street was extended, and the address "221b Baker Street" was embodied in real life. It was at this address that fans of Sherlock Holmes sent numerous letters and made excursions. Later on the street in the 4-storey building was created the Sherlock Holmes Museum, and on the facade a sign appeared, informing passers-by about living here in 1881 - 1904. Detective Sh. Holmes. The rooms of the great detective can be inspected on the second floor, and Dr. John Watson and Mrs. Hudson "lived" on the third floor. Visitors can see here items familiar from the stories of A. Conan Doyle: the detective's fiddle, letters, his hat. Also in the Sherlock HolmesMuseum it is possible to sit in an armchair by the fireplace or take a picture in the setting of a profitable house of the 19th century.
The name of the central London park comes from the area unit. This royal park occupies up to 1.4 square meters. Km and is a favorite place for British politicians and speakers who prefer to communicate with their opponents and defend their own philosophical ideas. Earlier historical parades were held here, and in 1822 the first sculpture of naked Achilles was erected in Hyde Park, which caused a storm of city protests.
Regent's Park (Regent's Park) and the London Zoo (London Zoo)
One of the largest parks in London, previously performing the role of hunting possessions of Henry VIII. For ordinary Londoners, the park became available from 1838, and in the mid-19th century the Bishop Observatory worked here. A popular place for resting city dwellers is the park thanks to numerous lakes, a central rosary and fields for active sports. In the north-east of the park, there is a zoo, which is the oldest in the world, for those who wish. In 1828, there appeared a small zoological collection for scientific purposes, and now London Zoo counts up to 20,000 animals from all over the world. In the 19th century, separate insectories, an aquarium, and a serpentarium were built. Later in the independent groups were allocated a children's zoo, a "round house" for primates, aviaries for large animals.
St. James's Park The oldest in London is the royal St. James's Park goes to Buckingham Palace in the west and to the St. James Palace on the north side. The park was named after a charitable institution for the sick and the poor named after St. James (James). Significant changes in the appearance of the park were made by Kings Henry VIII, Jacob I Stewart and Charles II, who drained the local marshes, placed a menagerie with exotic African and Asian animals and broke in the park "Versailles gardens." In the early 19th century, the appearance of the park transformed the planting of new species of trees and the creation of a small pond.
Green Park (Green Park)
The Royal Park, which connects the other two: Hyde Park and St. James. Not far from the park are the famous Kensington Gardens. The history of the founding of Green Park is due to Henry VIII. In times of duel aristocrats preferred to hold fights in Green Park as the most populous central park of the city. Since 1826 the park has become a favorite place for walks of Londoners and a natural workshop of local artists. Green Park can not boast of numerous monuments or famous buildings, and the area is a green meadow.
Harrods and Knightsbridge
The central shopping area in London is one of the largest department stores in the world Harrods. 90 thousand square meters of retail space accommodate up to 330 different units offering goods for every taste. And although the famous motto of the department store is "Omnia Omnibus Ubique", it's not "every" consumer who can make purchases here, but only one who went through a strict dress code. Since 1989, in working or dirty clothes, you can not go to Harrods. The most famous department store in London is located in the quarter of luxury restaurants, the largest banks and fashion boutiques - Knightsbridge. The spirit of exclusivity, refinement and expensive things rules the quarter. Design shops Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Zara, Prada and many others attract tourists to this rich quarter from all over the world.
Selfridge and Oxford Street
Oxford Street - one of the main shopping streets of Westminster, which unites a lot of brand shops and department stores. The duration of the street is up to 2.4 km, where more than 550 retail spaces are located. One of the most famous department stores in Oxford Street is Centelfridges. The founder of the trading giant, Henry Selfridge, embodied successful marketing moves in the organization of trade and was able to convince buyers that buying is not an ordinary necessity, but a time for wonderful discoveries. The principle of "the buyer is always right" and the design of showcases in the style of a magical holiday helped the founder expand the commercial business. In 2010, Selfridge was recognized as the best modern store in the world. 50 thousand square meters. Meters accommodate fashion boutiques, beauty salons, furniture departments, perfume shops and jewelry stores. In London, you can find absolutely everything, as its founder dreamed.
The Covent Garden Quarter is considered a London landmark due to the Royal Opera House located here, the old Covent Garden market and the Royal Drury Lane Theater. Also in the quarter, tourists can see the London Museum of Public Transport, opened in a Victorian building in 1980. In the 17th century a famous "church" church was built in the quarter - the church of St. Paul. The quarter of Covent Garden is historically connected with the entertainment industry, there are 13 theaters and more than 60 pubs. The local market is mentioned in the play "Pygmalion" by JB Shaw.
Camden Town and the Camden Markets
Tourists visit Camden Town to get acquainted with alternative culture, pop art and feel the spirit of freedom and creativity. This quarter in the north of London is called a round-the-clock underground-paradise, where everyone can learn more about the culture of the ready, emo, alternative religions and new philosophical currents. Several markets of Camden stretch along the same street from different sides, introducing tourists to fashionable clothes and designer things. Every Camden market has its own specialization and style. Resting from the tiresome shopping tourists and Londoners can in pubs and restaurants in a unique style of different cultures. In the year of Camden Markets, more than 10 million customers visit.
Carnaby Street (Carnaby Street)
The name of the London street comes from the building of Karnaby House, located a little east. The foundations of Carnaby Street were laid in 1685-1686, and finally the street was built in the late 17th century. In the second half of the 20th century this pedestrian street was called the center of an independent youth fashion, underground clubs and "swinging London". Now most of the boutiques and designer stores on Carnaby Street represent clothing for the mass consumer.
One of the largest shopping centers in London combined for 150 square meters. Meters of elite brands such as Prada and Chanel, and quite affordable Marks & Spencer, Zara, Esprit or Next. Now in the center are more than 370 jewelry stores, children's clothing, books, goods for animals, furniture, hobby goods, art salons, pharmacies and even one dental clinic. It is quite a young shopping center, erected in 2008. Due to a wide range of services and products and a good location (Ariel Way, White City), the Westfield shopping center is very popular with tourists and locals. At the opening it was named the second largest shopping center after the Metro Center.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS
All bar one
The Allbarone bars group includes more than 50 establishments in Britain and Germany. The main concept of the founders is to create a comfortable and friendly place where lonely people can enjoy pleasant music and relax after work. Open space, glass facades, natural wooden floors and a huge selection of cocktails made Allbarone a favorite place for working women. The first Allbarone was opened in 1994 in the London area of Sutton. Rapid expansion of the bar in central London, and at the moment in the "heart of the city" can be found 47 offices Allbarone. Many customers appreciate this bar for soft music, allowing to communicate with friends, and delicious food. Managers of bars are guided by more mature visitors, young people under 21 years in most Allbarone are not served.
The best restaurants in London, where the real Argentine steaks are prepared and Argentina's fine wine is served, is the Gaucho chain. The flagship restaurant Piccadilly in 2013 won the Association of Wines of Argentina award as the best "wine house" outside of Argentina. Last year, only in Britain Gaucho Group opened 14 restaurants and wine pubs. Gaucho restaurants present themselves as an ideal place for official meetings, business lunches and private parties. Each of the restaurants includes a separate wine hall where guests can taste drinks. As the visitors note, the best "wine boutique" of the network is Cavas de Gaucho.
The best ethnic restaurant in the West End is Hakassan with traditional Chinese cuisine. The interior and planning of the hall was created by the French designer Christian Liagre, who organically combined the traditions of China and modern architectural solutions. In 2008, only five London restaurants were represented in the world list of the world's top 50 restaurants. One of them was Hakassan, who took 19th place. In 2013, the owners of Hakassan decided to "upgrade" the concept of the restaurant through partnership with a nightclub at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. Now the restaurant chain Hakassan is a recognized leader in the music and restaurant business.
Ice Bar (ICE Bar)
Among the exotic bars of London, tourists can visit the Ice Bar, which was opened only recently, but has already gained worldwide fame. The main feature of the establishment is the use of ice to create furniture, walls, dishes. Convenient location (Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus) and unique design attract thousands of visitors to the bar. The standard temperature in the unusual ICEBar does not exceed -5ºC. Administration, taking care of customers, restricts stay in the institution for 40 minutes. At the exit, freezing customers can sit in heated chairs and share their impressions. Given the popularity of the bar, the place should be booked in advance.
London Town Town (China Town London)
Earlier, Chinese settlements in the cities of the world were called "china-town" quarters, but now they are tourist areas, including entertaining institutions and ethnic restaurant chains. In London, ChinaTown is located in the Soho district, and the time of its birth is considered to be the 70s of the 20th century. Prior to this Soho was famous for its coffee shops and supermarkets, but traditional Chinese souvenir shops and Chinese restaurants actively replaced former owners. Now all the institutions of the quarter are marked with signs on hieroglyphs and provide for the popularization of Chinese culture. Celebrating the New Year in the Chinese calendar is held in London's Chinatown with theater productions, processions of mythical animals and a lantern festival. Numerous tourists specially visit London these days to attend the annual ceremony.
The Ministry of Sound
At the end of the last century, the first MinistryofSound club was opened in the southeastern area of London, and now it is a large club network, which includes the best institutions of the city. The original logo of the clubs uses traditional symbols for official British authorities, which emphasizes its elitism and high quality of music. Ministry of Sound provides for the game of famous DJs who mix live sets on Friday and Saturday for two dance floors. Now Ministry of Sound is a trademark and is working to expand the spheres of activity.
Fabric (Fabric )
An interesting feature of one of the best nightclubs in London is the dress code, which does not encourage the presence on the dance floor of primly dressed dance lovers. But do not worry - the club is allowed in absolutely any clothing. Politics Fabric says that the main thing in the club is the love of dance movements, and not the clothes of the club-men. In 2008, in the list of the best clubs DjMag magazine told Fabric, emphasizing his huge musical range, a significant number of DJs and comfortable dance floors. According to the rules of the club every night, their sets are represented by at least three stars of the world of club music. Fabric tickets are inexpensive, so getting them is difficult. Preliminary order will save you from unnecessary worries and will allow you to enjoy stylish minimalism of the interior and excellent music.
Pret-a-Manger (Pret a Manger)
The first PretaManger store was opened in 1984 in London's Hampstead. For gourmets, the store offered ready-to-eat food, created by experienced restaurant masters. The idea of the name indicates the opportunity to purchase traditional French cuisine for take-out, for consumption in a cozy home environment. At the shops of the network there are also comfortable small cafes where visitors can have a snack "on the way". The history of the company says that it was created, as many people dream of masterfully cooked favorite dishes, but they can not find them anywhere. PretaManger main goal of his work is to give his clients a dream and allow them to enjoy real high-quality dishes. In 2011, sales of Pret-a-Mangier amounted to 377 million British pounds. Now, PretaManger's representative offices are open in New York, Washington, Paris, Hong Kong.
Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK)
The network of restaurants GBK is usually considered a fast food for gourmets. The founding of the first restaurant dates back to 2001, when the natives of New Zealand developed a unique menu of unusual "big" hamburgers and side dishes from fresh vegetables. After only 4 years of development, the GBK network included more than 50 fast food restaurants throughout Britain. The network franchises are now open in Ireland, Dubai, Greece. Most visitors to GourmetBurgerKitchen are enthusiastic about the speed of service, the incredible taste of hamburgers, chips and salads.
The Piccadilly Circus
Piccadilly Circus was created in 1819 for a traffic junction in the Westminster area of central London. The square is decorated with a statue of the twin brother of the god of love Eros and opened in 2007, the "Museum of Passionate Love" - London Amora. Nine rooms of the museum are devoted to love relationships and eroticism. The exposition was created with the help of the latest technical novelties, projectors, multimedia. Since the beginning of the 20th century, there is a metro station under the square.
LeicesterSquare is rightly considered the place of fashionable and non-poor youth, the center of local show business. Here are the largest cinemas ("Empire"), restaurants, Swiss cuisine and brand name brands. Not far from Place Leyster lived Sir Isaac Newton, so here you can see his sculpture. Tourists visit LeicesterSquare for the sake of mechanical presentation on the wall of one of the buildings. At a height of 4 meters, you can consider a 5-minute action with the figures of peasants who are engaged in ordinary household chores: mow the grass, knead the dough ... At the ticket office on Leicester Square you can buy unsold tickets to the theaters of the West End for half the price.
During a trip to London, you should definitely go to a local musical. Traditionally it is believed that the theaters in the West End area are of the highest professionalism in this field, and their musical performances are highly appreciated by the fans of musicals. In London it is accepted that the theater represents quite a long time only one musical show, honing every detail to perfection. Depending on the theater, tickets for the performance may cost 15 to 80 pounds, so it's better to take unsold tickets at the half price tickets booth at the Leicester Square metro station. On musicals, spectators can take a glass of wine or ice cream into the hall.
Read also the article sights of London part 1 .
View the educational institutions of London you canhere